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Below are the two final essays to be posted on Allegiance and Duty Betrayed. The first one is written by a friend -- screen name 'Euro-American Scum' -- who, over the past four years, has been the most faithful essayist here. He has written about everything from his pilgrimage to Normandy in 2004 to take part in the 60th–year commemoration of the invasion, to his memories of his tour in Vietnam. His dedication to America’s founding principles ... and those who have sacrificed to preserve them over the past 200+ years ... is unequaled. Thank you, E-A-S. It has been a privilege to include your writing here, and it is a privilege to call you my friend.

The second essay is my own farewell. And with it I thank all of the many regular visitors, and those who may have only dropped in occasionally, for coming here. I hope you learned something. I hope a seed or two was planted. But, even if not, I thank you for stopping by ... 25 March, 2010


America's Goldman Sachs Legacy

Goldman Sachs just posted higher than expected quarterly earnings of $3.33 billion – up 65%, year over year – even though they were the recipients of over $10 billion in TARP money (which they were finally ‘allowed’ to pay back).

Goldman Sachs boasts approximately 29,400 employees, and they have announced plans to give $11.4 billion in bonuses to their employees, which averages out to approximately $770,000 per employee – with top executives set to garner millions each. That bonus figure amounts to approximately the kinds of bonuses that Sachs was handing out to its people at the height of the prosperity bubble.

President Obama, shortly after the passage of TARP legislation (brackets are mine):

When I saw an article today indicating that Wall Street bankers had given themselves twenty billion dollars [only a little more than half of what Goldman Sachs alone is now intending to give its employees] worth of bonuses, the same amount of bonuses as they gave themselves in 2004, at a time when most of these institutions were teetering on collapse, and they are asking for taxpayers to help sustain them … that is the height of irresponsibility. It is shameful. And part of what we’re going to need is for folks on Wall Street who are asking for help to show some restraint, and show some discipline and sense of responsibility.

Goldman Sachs ‘graduates’ held extremely powerful positions in the American government before the economy began to visibly unwind, with Robert Rubin, Secretary of the Treasury during both Clinton administrations, and Joshua Bolton, President Bush’s chief of staff, leaping to mind immediately. Goldman graduates also serve as the heads of the New York Stock Exchange, the Canadian World Bank, the Italian World Bank, the New York Fed, etc. They hold prominent positions in much of the world of international finance.

Shortly before the economy began to visibly head south, Goldman Sachs got its foot in the door again when President Bush appointed as Treasury Secretary former Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson. Once the economic crisis began to rear its ugly head, Paulson sat back passively in his secretary's chair and allowed two of America's largest investment banks/brokerage firms to fail: Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers.

The Treasury Department, under Paulson, did not lift a finger to help either Bear or Lehman keep its head above water. (Footnote: Bear and Lehman were both competitors of Goldman Sachs – with Lehman posing its biggest competitive threat).

Fewer than twenty-four hours after Lehman Brothers bit the dust, Paulson made the decision to bail out AIG, the largest insurance conglomerate in the world, to the tune of $85 billion, for the sake of the American economy, which ‘would suffer irreparable damage’, should AIG fail. (Footnote: Goldman Sachs represented the biggest AIG payout -- $12.9 billion -- when AIG received its federal bailout billions.)

Hank Paulson then proceeded to appoint another Goldman Sachs crony, Neil Kashkari, to oversee the distribution of TARP money.

One of Kashkari’s first decisions was to change the status of Goldman Sachs to a bank holding company – a new status which would allow it to become the direct recipient of TARP money, in addition to FDIC funds, and money from the Fed discount window. Since Goldman Sachs was now registered as a bank holding company, they were no longer under SEC regulation, but Fed regulation. And who sat at the head of the Fed regulators to whom Sachs must answer? A man named Stephen Friedman, a former Chairman of Goldman Sachs.

Despite the fact that Mr. Friedman was now sitting in the overseer/regulator position at the Fed, responsible to monitor Goldman Sach’s dealings, he was not only a former chairman of GS, but also a current member of Goldman’s board of directors, and a major stockholder in the firm.

When complaints were issued about this blatant conflict of interest, current Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner, issued a temporary one-year waiver of the conflict-of-interest rule, allowing Friedman to continue to decide regulatory matters in GS’s behalf.

Mr. Friedman shortly thereafter purchased an additional 52,000 shares of Goldman Sachs.

Neil Kashkari was then replaced as overseer of TARP distributions by Gary Gensler, a former partner at Goldman Sachs. Gensler is now serving as the head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, with his main charge being to regulate derivatives. When he was working for Goldman Sachs several years ago, Gensler worked tirelessly to deregulate derivatives.

Goldman Sachs has hired a new lobbyist, Michael Pease, who also serves as a Director of Government Affairs. Pease is replacing another Goldman Sachs lobbyist, Mark Patterson, who has received a promotion to serve as the Chief of Staff of our Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geitner.

(Footnote: During his campaign, our president promised that he would never have a registered lobbyist serve in his administration. Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist whose assignment was to lobby in order to prevent pay restrictions for Wall Street moneymakers, is now the number two man in the treasury department.)

Goldman Sachs recently spent $23 billion to purchase ten percent of the Chicago Climate Exchange, and $1 billion in carbon assets (including alternative energy projects), while their current and former employees (only some of whom are mentioned above) – now major government decision-makers – are endorsing mandatory limits on carbon emissions included in Cap and Trade legislation.

Think about the fact that Goldman Sachs was a recipient of bailout funds (read: your and my tax dollars), and that they are about to bestow upon their employees bonuses that average $770,000 per employee. Now think about the fact that most Americans’ nest eggs consist of retirement accounts directly linked to the American stock market. Then take a good look at the performance of the general markets (Dow and NASDAQ) as compared to the performance of Goldman Sachs, since our president took office (red=Goldman, green=NAS, Blue=Dow):

Man, these Goldman Sachs people are indescribably brilliant. Their company appears to know how to turn dirt into gold. Indeed, Goldman Sachs employees appear to outshine all other financial wizards in that they achieve, at an incredible proportion as compared to other financial wizards, major government positions, with indescribable autocratic decision-making powers.

Or could there be a kind of affirmative action hiring process going on here, in that these Sachs fellows affirm the leftist agenda currently being pushed down our throats, and they, in turn, invariably garner significant increased wealth and political power?

That leftist agenda currently being railroaded through Congress? It includes all manner of liberty-destroying, healthcare quality destroying, capitalism (especially small business) destroying, elitist power-grabbing initiatives … not to mention the fact that it is annihilating the carefully-accumulated nest eggs of tens of millions of hard-working Americans, and saddling their children and grandchildren with a monumentally burdensome debt that they can never hope to repay.

The inevitable result? We are fast allowing our republic to be transformed into a caste system made up of a political and financial elite, the working masses, and the parasites and benefactors who will keep the elite in office. This generation of working Americans, and those who follow, will find themselves slaves to the state – allowed to keep only that which the state allows them to retain, and forced to share the remainder with those the state wants to see prosper.

[Coming soon: (1) How Goldman Sachs manipulates the markets, and (2) the major role that Goldman Sachs played in the American economic debacle … of which we have yet to see the worst.]

~ joanie


MontyPython2 said...

What an indictment! As usual, something the mainsteam media isn't telling us.

Thanks, Joanie!

Stonemason said...

Joanie, that chart of stock behavior makes me physically ill. Our leaders, government and financial, don't give a damn about the "little guy", even though that's all they talk about. It's all about power and greed!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this excellent article! I am sending it to my stock broker. I'll let you know what he says about it. ;)

Anonymous said...

Bush was either a part of the plot to stratify our society or he was amazingly duped.

I'd like to think that he was just too willing to compromise with the left and didn't realize what the results would be.

In the meantime, the stratification goes on, full speed ahead.

Very good job, J-F!

Max Shapiro said...

You have an amazing way of pulling together a lot of different facts in different areas into one really compelling story, and I don't doubt any of your conclusions.

Thank you for this eye opener.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE the "official birth certificate"! This column ain't bad either. ;)

Keep on spreading the word.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are back. We missed your insight.

Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers were just the beginning. Now there is CIT Group. CIT is the largest small-business lender in the country. CIT allows mom and pop business to stay afloat through the lending of much need money during cash flow shortages. The elite (GS) got (gets) their money and small business are kept in their place. We already have enough rich/successful people in the country.

Anonymous said...

Goldman Sachs is also an advocate of "high-frequency" stock trades, which account for 73% of all stock action on any given day. In other words, Sachs and other who do h-f trading can virtually dictate how the market behaves. Try Googling "high frequence stock trading." You'll cry.

joanie said...

Spot on, 'anonymous'! The high-frequency trading is a manipulator's dream, and we Average Joe's can't even comprehend it, let alone avail ourselves of it.

To add insult to injury:

The New York Stock Exchange quietly announced last week that it would end its practice of requiring companies to report all their program trading -- a move that helps shield large investment banks, particularly Goldman Sachs, from public scrutiny.

The new rule means the public will no longer be able to tell if large investment banks are manipulating the stock market for their own gain, says Matt Taibbi, the journalist whose Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs' role in asset bubbles over the past century has rocked the financial world.

According to previous NYSE rules, any company that carried out program trading -- essentially, large computer-automated trades worth more than $1 million -- had to report the trades to the NYSE, which then made the information publicly available. But, under new regulations published last week, that requirement has been removed.

Why is Goldman so fearful of public scrutiny? What is it hiding? Does it have plans to rig the markets in ways they've never been rigged before?


Arlene Albrecht said...

Joanie, I did not know any of this and I consider myself informed. This is a nightmare! We are being sold down the river in every conceivable way by people who want to run every aspect of our lives and get rich in the process.

God help us!

Cal Brindisi said...

The inevitable result? We are fast allowing our republic to be transformed into a caste system made up of a political and financial elite, the working masses, and the parasites and benefactors who will keep the elite in office. This generation of working Americans, and those who follow, will find themselves slaves to the state – allowed to keep only that which the state allows them to retain, and forced to share the remainder with those the state wants to see prosper.

You should have been a carpenter, Joanie. You're good at hitting the nail on the head.

The past 6 months of "government" have been aimed at nothing except subjugating the American people to the "rule of the elite" and one world governance.

And it looks like Goldman Sachs has been a main player.


Buster said...

Sachs has been in the background for much longer than most of us think. Talk about conspiracy! Most people who laugh at conspiracy theorists (at least this conspiracy), aren't going to be laughing much longer.

I'm glad to see you're covering this here on AADB. The more people who know about what goes on behind the scenes in government and the markets, the better off we'll all be.

Not that we can do much about it at this late date.

Anonymous said...

Here's a site you might find interesting. I do.

"Is Goldman Sachs Running the U.S. Government?"


Trustbutverify said...

In the past, such flagrantly unconstitutional behavior (especially things that smacked of conflict of interest) were done behind closed doors.

Now they're done out in the open, except for the fact that the media don't report them, which amounts to behind closed doors anyway.

Everything this President has done, and everything "his" Congress has done, in the last 6 months has been aimed at limiting or destroying our freedoms and bringing us under control of some kind of global governance.

"Businessmen" at Goldman Sachs, and others, who you'd think would be capitalists at heart are doing everything they can to destroy all the pillars of capitalism.

Freedom and the free markets are doomed in America.

Nate Unruh said...

All of these are facts that the MSM would be reporting if they were still trying to actually INFORM the people.

I'm having trouble remembering when the media abandoned that purpose. Probably long before I was even born, and I'm forty-two.

Thank you for the eye opening story Joanie.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! I'm looking forward to the two encores you promised.

Anonymous said...

If we ain't mad as hell, we ain't payin' attention!

Guinevere said...

I meet people all of the time who swear that if they had been alive in Nazi Germany, what courageous things they would have done.

Or Stalinist Russia. Or during the underground railroad for slaves.

But now, when they have a chance to help America and add their voice to the protest of what is the raping and looting of our treasury and the wallstreet old-boy network of Government workers [Hank Paulson, Robert Rubin, Obama's latest Goldman-Sachs lobbyists who are now running our treasury] taking billions and billions of hard-working taxpayer dollars and handing it to their buddies who lost billions and billions in their own little ponzi schemes and pursuit of obscene short-term profits, the sound of silence is deafening....


Anonymous said...

Very well done. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

People, we are being so fleeced by a government that serves the bankers, it is no longer conspiracy and is not even entertaining to discuss. Because this time around those running the government are using that parasitic relationship to destroy our economy in order to knock us off the top of the global hill.

Barry up the road said...

Another meticulously researched and brilliantly presented article Joanie.

The Goldman Sachs connection goes back to the beginning of the last century as you alluded and they have never been a friend of "the little guy".

There are evil forces at work which possess power and influence that you and I cannot even imagine.

I wish we could have left a better America for our grandchildren.

robmaroni said...

Wow! I second Barry's remarks: a meticulolusly researched and brilliantly presented article!

Sergei said...

Glad to see you caught on to this.

Rubin, Paulson, Geithner, Friedman etc etc etc.

It's been obvious for years.

Dirty Harry said...

Hey Sergei, your arrogance and condescending attitude are showing.

Good work, Joanie, putting this all together in one neat package.

Sergei said...

Robert Rubin was Clinton's Secretary of Treasury.

That was going on 20 years ago.

Better late than never to observe the obvious.